Thursday, March 6, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 12

It's Top 12 Week and we saw a lot of different things happen in the competition throughout this episode. There were a few who rose to the occasion - or maybe not -, a few who dropped the ball, and then several others who were praised when they simply did not deserve it. But, most importantly, the judges being so hard on these kids. Then again, constructive criticism will always be beneficial to them no?

Oh, and can I just say, despite the lackluster performances of everyone, I'm loving the fact that the song choices are new to American Idol. It didn't all work out well, but I do appreciate that the show expanded the song list this year.

On to the rankings!

12. MK Nobilette
Drops Of Jupiter
It's official. MK is in free fall and completely out of her depth in this competition. Vocally, it was decent and unoffending, but she appeared to just want to be done with it and not savor it all. She looked lost while attempting to croon out a version of Drops of Jupiter and it sounded too bland to make a difference. I've given her time to show me that she has a fighting spirit and is eager to win this competition, but it hasn’t appeared. 4

11. CJ Harris
Waiting On The World To Change
I don't know what happened to CJ, but he has still been unable to make a real mark as a contestant, and Waiting On The World To Change didn't do much to change his status. Sure, the song felt very authentic, and it somehow fir his voice, but some of his vocal choices were uneven and it caused him to go off-key at random moments. It had moments, but too inconsistent for me to care. 4

10. Emily Piriz
Let's Get Loud
While the song was sung beautifully (!) and I could tell that she was trying so hard to make the whole performance work, it didn't seem to be able to find any traction. I don't think she succeeded tonight with this number. True, Emily had some good moments, but the energy that makes this song infectious was sorely lacking. This was supposed to be a chance for her to let loose, but it fell flat. 4.5

09. Alex Preston
I Don't Want To Be
Ehh, this one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, this was a nice change of pace for Alex, but it was just rough. He fell off the pitch multiple times, when he reached the ends of the verses he stopped supporting his vocals, and somehow he sang with almost zero connection to the song. This was a bit disappointing after his sublime performance last week. 5

08. Jena Irene
Suddenly I See
Suddenly I See is a brilliant song.. just not for Jena Irene. She clearly has this darker and moody quality to her voice that was a tad jarring for a song so breezy. It just didn't fit her and it only allowed the poor kid to turn in a decent showing but another "so what" performance. It wasn't bad and I somehow enjoyed parts of it, but she needs to deliver something more than this or I'm about to revoke her dark horse status, because as she fights and struggles to find a place in this competition, she is only hurting herself by showing the viewers how uneven she can be. Get out of your head! You’re dying a slow death up there from a thousand small cuts. 5.5

07. Sam Woolf
Just One
This was another good, but not great, performance from Sam and it's starting to become a habit. I admit, he's a terrific singer and his pitch is always on point, but until he realized how to appropriately embody a song and put some emotional dynamics to his performance, he won't be able to go to the next level. He'll remain a brilliant singer, but not a brilliant musician. Don't forget to push yourself, Sam! I want to see more attitude in your facial features, and I want to start seeing a bit more fire and passion. Take us on a journey, tell us a story, make us feel something. It's time. Let's see it. 6

06. Caleb Johnson
Working Man
Look, Caleb was obviously the most comfortable performer and I'm constantly amazed by how well he knows how to work a stage. Once again, the vocal was fairly impressive, but I couldn't bring myself to care. Maybe Harry was right, he now needs to bring something new because while this was vocally strong, it was very predictable. I need to hear and see something new from him because as it is, his performances are starting to blend together. 6

05. Ben Briley
Turning Home
I don't know what Harry was saying, but this proved that Ben is one of the best storytellers to come on this show this season. His ability to access these songs is one of his strongest weapons. Yes, his vocals weren't flawless and he almost went screaming towards the end, but the way he navigated the melody was pretty interesting. One thing he should do next week though: take some chances. I want to see some daring musicianship from him; otherwise I’ll start calling him lazy each week. Haha. 6

04. Dexter Roberts
Lucky Man
The song Lucky Man allowed him to hand wrap us a solid country vocal. He is dangerous. He knows it is very early in this competition, and the longer he just phones in solid country performances, the spotlight will stay off of him and on his fellow competitors. It's an interesting way to look at it, but I will not underestimate the power of Dexter. If he managed to survive last week after delivering something so mediocre, I don't see him having trouble this week. 6.5

03. Majesty Rose
Fix You
I tell you, this would've been EPIC if Majesty just kept it together towards the end. Her version of Fix You had gorgeous verses that were restrained, multidimensional and lucid. Her vocals were so impeccable that I was seriously swooning the entire time. Sadly, when she hit the last part of the number where the range of the song kept pushing her to a precipice she wasn't ready as she managed to fall out of the key several times, things went all over the place. The first half was outstanding and the second half was a mess. There. That's as simple as it gets. 6.5

02. Jessica Meuse
White Flag
This was probably the most interesting performance of the entire night. The dark, almost acoustic driven arrangement of the song made me sit up and take notice. I'm not sure about her going sharp for the most part as what Harry mentioned, but the way she delivered the song with a gritty undertone was very appealing to me. It allowed Jessica to show her strengths and vocal ability with something less obvious. Again, this wasn't perfect, but digress. 7

01. Malaya Watson
Take Me To The King
What an improvement! She finally decided to calm down and she was able to bring back some of that interesting quality to her voice that was missing over the past few weeks. Her vocals were good, there was confidence and flavor to this performance and I felt that she had made a genuine connection to the material. I have to wonder though if the damage is already done or if Malaya will be able to get off the mat and show a little more fight. This is going to be a very important week for the young contestant, and if she can survive and seize this momentum, she might be able to salvage her once promising start. 7


Who should go? 
MK Nobilette

Who will go?
Emily Piriz


Anonymous said...

wth was this week acoustic week or something nearly everyone used a guitar

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